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carpo-rusyn
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« on: December 06, 2003, 03:27:58 PM »

I have in the past engaged in debates (sometimes good natured other times not) with fundamentalist Christians.   As an RC they go right after all things RC quoting Bible passages to refute various RC beliefs.  I have sometimes met them with bible in hand and in looking up the passages they cite have found them to be taken out of context or relating to something else entirely.  I'm told (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that this is called proof-texting.

I found that since joining this forum that a different type of proof texting is done here.  Sometimes it is quoting the Fathers other times the Rudder.  Is this accepted EO practice?  I don't ask the question to draw fire on those who proof text.  It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.  

Just wondered if anyone would care to share their thoughts.

Happy St. Nicholas Day to all.
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2003, 03:36:20 PM »

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It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

"Catholic Answers" doesn't ring any bells? Smiley

Truthfully Carpo, how else are you supposed to get at the mind of the Fathers, or demonstrate it, without offering something directly from their thoughts?  Or are we all simply supposed to embrace, pretend we have the same faith, and leave it at that?

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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2003, 03:49:32 PM »

OH Seraphim!  How are you?  Hope you're enjoying St. Nicholas Day. Grin

[Truthfully Carpo, how else are you supposed to get at the mind of the Fathers, or demonstrate it, without offering something directly from their thoughts?  Or are we all simply supposed to embrace, pretend we have the same faith, and leave it at that?]

So we don't play 'Bible bingo' but instead we play "Patristic bingo"?  What I was trying to get at my brother in Christ is that by citing passages here and there from St. Ignatius or St Basil we don't demostrate the "mind" of that particular father.  Of course we shouldn't  "embrace" or "pretend" that we have the same faith.  Which we still do bye the bye unless ROAC has started praying to Moloch at liturgy instead of our common Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  

Is this proof texting a recent invovation in Orthodoxy or something they've learned from the Prots.  In the Prot fundamentalist churches you are considered a "good Christian" if you can quote scripture passages at length.  Is it the standard of being a "good Christian" in Orthodoxy to be able to quote passages from the Fathers?

Yes you do well to bring up Catholic Answers but I think they are doing something that's not in keeping with our (mine not yours) tradition.

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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2003, 03:50:35 PM »

Seraphim,

I think you are presenting the issue unfairly, in an either-or scenario.  I think one can:

1) Be like you suggest and just unite without resolving differences (bad)
2) Beat people over the head with long lists of quotations that are out of context (bad)
3) Discuss things intelligently, drawing from the Fathers but always keeping the bigger issue at hand.

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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2003, 04:14:13 PM »

Quote
It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

This is a very curious denial, given the fact that I've read numerous Catholic apologists proof text both the Bible AND the Fathers to support Rome's positions.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2003, 05:15:26 PM »

Doubting Tom

Yes there are many RC apologists who proof-text to support Rome's position but many are former Prots who have become RC or people who've been influenced by the Prots.  

But please address the question?  What do you think as an EO about proof-texting.

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Seraphim Reeves
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2003, 05:46:31 PM »

Carpo,

Quote
So we don't play 'Bible bingo' but instead we play "Patristic bingo"?

I don't think anyone here is playing any sort of "bingo."  Frankly, this sounds like sour grapes...

Quote
What I was trying to get at my brother in Christ is that by citing passages here and there from St. Ignatius or St Basil we don't demostrate the "mind" of that particular father.

I agree it is possible to take anyone out of context - however, I do not think you always have to quote a whole tract to get the point of what they're trying to express in a given paragraph or statement.  This seems like an obscurantist attempt to avoid the obvious import of statements (put on this forum) which have not been favourable to the claims of your church.

While I would not confuse myself with a St.John Chrysostomos, or St.Gregory Palamas, will also observe one other thing - the Fathers themselves were in the habit of quoting Scriptural passages and passages from earlier Fathers, to make their case.  Were they wrong too?

Quote
Of course we shouldn't  "embrace" or "pretend" that we have the same faith.  Which we still do bye the bye unless ROAC has started praying to Moloch at liturgy instead of our common Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

One does not have to defect to paganism, to fall from the truth...

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:Cool

Quote
Is this proof texting a recent invovation in Orthodoxy or something they've learned from the Prots.

Citing the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers has always been Orthodox practice - even the Ecumenical Councils will quote this way, to make their point.

Quote
In the Prot fundamentalist churches you are considered a "good Christian" if you can quote scripture passages at length.

Well, I'm not sure if this should make someone a "good Christian", of itself.  However, the Fathers do teach that ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.  A contempt for a strong Biblical foundation is not genuinely "Catholic", last time I read the decrees of Vatican II which encouraged Bible study.  A lack of such knowledge by a Christian is something to be lamented, not praised as a badge certifying they're not one of those naughty Protestants.

Quote
Is it the standard of being a "good Christian" in Orthodoxy to be able to quote passages from the Fathers?

Well, it's certainly a good thing.

13 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1st Peter 3:15)

Quote
Yes you do well to bring up Catholic Answers but I think they are doing something that's not in keeping with our (mine not yours) tradition.

Oh come now.  Radio Replies doesn't ring any bells?  The many other apologists on the scene right now?  The "Catholic Truth Society"?  The counter-reformation tracts and essays put out by the Jesuits and similar groups for popular consumption?  The mountain of old polemical works (like the reprints TAN puts out) that I used to find at the little book store in my old RC church?  Please...

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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2003, 05:50:59 PM »

Anastasios,

Quote
Seraphim,

I think you are presenting the issue unfairly, in an either-or scenario.  I think one can:

1) Be like you suggest and just unite without resolving differences (bad)
2) Beat people over the head with long lists of quotations that are out of context (bad)
3) Discuss things intelligently, drawing from the Fathers but always keeping the bigger issue at hand.

I agree - long lists of quotes that are "out of context" would be very bad.  If this has been done by anyone on this forum, they should be called on it - in fact, it is precisely why I countered the philo-papist quotes placed by a certain user here, with other passages which clearly illustrate that their mind on these topics must have lay somewhere quite differently than the snippets (often with long elipses) they provided.

Btw., tell me...what is this "bigger issue at hand" that you feel is being ignored, so far?

Seraphim
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2003, 06:45:47 PM »

Seraphim

[Frankly, this sounds like sour grapes...]

How so?

[This seems like an obscurantist attempt to avoid the obvious import of statements (put on this forum) which have not been favourable to the claims of your church.]

Seraph, I'm not here to be obscurantist (I barely know what it means, is it some form of heresy). Let's have a reality check. This is an internet forum not the debating floor at the Sorbonne or the Oxford Union.  The statements made here not favorable to the facts (not claims) of my Church have no obvious import to me.  I'm here to discuss mutual points we share.  I'm not here for polemics.  I've heard from you in other threads that you beleive the RCC to be heretical.  Well and good.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  I simply asked the feeling re proof texting.

I am familiar with the decrees of Vat2 and that ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.  I guess the reason I raise this issue is that I've seen fundamantalists in action spouting off Bible passages and I've seen people on this forum spouting off passages from the Fathers.  The fundies seem to bash people on the other side over the head with Bible passages and I've seen the same thing here with Patrisitc passages.

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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2003, 11:35:48 PM »

Quote
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:Cool

That is an extremely "user-friendly" verse!

I've seen it used by just about everybody and his brother against their opponents.

Those with whom we disagree always have the "other gospel" it seems.
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2003, 03:41:24 PM »

Carpo,

Quote
The statements made here not favorable to the facts (not claims) of my Church have no obvious import to me.

Odd you say this here, since you've deemed it fit to participate in precisely these type of exchanges...

Quote
I'm here to discuss mutual points we share.

Then I scarcely see the need for us to communicate at all, at least on the subject of religion.

Quote
I am familiar with the decrees of Vat2 and that ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.  I guess the reason I raise this issue is that I've seen fundamantalists in action spouting off Bible passages and I've seen people on this forum spouting off passages from the Fathers.  The fundies seem to bash people on the other side over the head with Bible passages and I've seen the same thing here with Patrisitc passages.

The actual activities you're citing, are not bad in themselves (trying to demonstrate positions from the Holy Scriptures or the Fathers) - the best you can do here is put a perjorative spin on them (ex. "bash.")  There is no logic, no reason in your whole questioning the legitimacy of offering a Biblical/Patristic apologia for doctrinal positions.

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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2003, 04:27:06 PM »

Linus,

Quote
That is an extremely "user-friendly" verse!

I've seen it used by just about everybody and his brother against their opponents.

Those with whom we disagree always have the "other gospel" it seems.

Are you Orthodox or Uniate?

Seraphim
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2003, 05:19:40 PM »

Seraphim

[Then I scarcely see the need for us to communicate at all, at least on the subject of religion.]

OK


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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2003, 05:51:05 PM »

ouch. Shocked hackles raised all 'round . . . .
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2003, 09:54:39 PM »

Linus,

Quote
That is an extremely "user-friendly" verse!

I've seen it used by just about everybody and his brother against their opponents.

Those with whom we disagree always have the "other gospel" it seems.

Are you Orthodox or Uniate?

Seraphim


What was "Uniate" about my observation on the partisan abuse of Galatians 1:8?

I will leave the state of my Orthodoxy for you to judge, Seraphim.

That seems to be one of your specialties.
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2003, 10:00:00 PM »

Vicki

[PRELAST]

Yes this hits the nail on the head.  I didn't think this was standard EO practice.  

Thanks
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2003, 12:45:34 PM »

Truthfully Carpo, how else are you supposed to get at the mind of the Fathers, or demonstrate it, without offering something directly from their thoughts?  Or are we all simply supposed to embrace, pretend we have the same faith, and leave it at that?

A little embracing wouldn't hurt. After all, to look at the ROAC site, clerics should be emulating St. Nicholas and brawling in the street-- or at least spitting on each other as they pass on the sidewalk.

The issue with prooftexting isn't the quotations; it's how they are used. For instance, you are fond of quoting St. Cyprian, but his opinion that there is no salvation outside the church has always been disputed and has serious trouble being reconciled with scripture (and in my opinion, it cannot be reconciled with scripture).

You are engaged in a sort of sectarianism. The theory that ROAC is following is that you can suppress all of tradition except the part that leads to, well, their own dogmas; in essence one line of tradition is teased out of the whole. This leads to prooftexting due to the need to not consider the proponents of your church's dogmas in the context of other parts of the tradition that are contrary to them.
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2012, 09:02:47 PM »

Quote
It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

This is a very curious denial, given the fact that I've read numerous Catholic apologists proof text both the Bible AND the Fathers to support Rome's positions.  Roll Eyes

Exactly... we are all susceptible to this problem, we all have biases, etc...
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2012, 09:08:29 PM »

Quote
It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

This is a very curious denial, given the fact that I've read numerous Catholic apologists proof text both the Bible AND the Fathers to support Rome's positions.  Roll Eyes

Exactly... we are all susceptible to this problem, we all have biases, etc...
But my biases are better than yours.
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2012, 12:01:48 AM »

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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2012, 11:59:29 AM »

This remains to be seen!

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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2012, 12:03:44 PM »

Quote
It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

This is a very curious denial, given the fact that I've read numerous Catholic apologists proof text both the Bible AND the Fathers to support Rome's positions.  Roll Eyes

Isn't that what the Orthodox do, for the opposing positions?   Huh

Never mind...
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2012, 12:05:22 PM »

Quote
It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

This is a very curious denial, given the fact that I've read numerous Catholic apologists proof text both the Bible AND the Fathers to support Rome's positions.  Roll Eyes

Isn't that what the Orthodox do, for the opposing positions?   Huh

Run of the mill apologists? Certainly. Enlightened ones? Less so...
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« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2012, 01:53:05 PM »

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It's simply that it seems to me that the fundamentalist Protestants do it and now I've found the Orthodox do it while we in communion with Rome don't.

This is a very curious denial, given the fact that I've read numerous Catholic apologists proof text both the Bible AND the Fathers to support Rome's positions.  Roll Eyes

Isn't that what the Orthodox do, for the opposing positions?   Huh

Never mind...

Everybody making an argument from authority does it--whether its Protestants quoting Scripture, Fathers quoting Scripture, Orthodox quoting Fathers, RC quoting Fathers and Papal bulls, lawyers quoting the text of the law and Supreme Court decisions, professors quoting the textbook, etc. It's an inescapable part of argument from authority that one cites the authority--otherwise your only options are pure logic (which only works if the topic is subject to pure deductive logic) or various forms of subjectivism ("I think", "It seem to me..."). Which is why the response you are responding too doesn't deny Orthodox do it--it just questions the OP's unrealistic assertion that RC's don't.

The problem is not proof-texts per se, since that's just a way of saying 'textual evidence that supports my point'. But when most people use the term 'proof-text' or 'proof-texting' they are referring to a particularly egregious form of proof-texting where the text in question is taken out of both its immediate and historical context and quoted as if the excerpt stands alone--the classic example being Protestant usage of the "call no man father" Scripture, which they use as if it means one thing in attacking the use of 'father' for priests--and yet they interpret the immediately following statement ("call no man teacher") in a completely separate way--when obviously the two need to be interpreted in the same manner..
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« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2012, 01:56:01 PM »

Makes sense.  Smiley
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